It is both amazingly awesome and amazingly hard to be a mom.

It’s almost a badge of honor to be the most exhausted and the most stressed of all your wp-1474839348339.jpgmom friends- there’s a whole internet full of memes about life in yoga pants with messy hair, a coffee IV, and bedraggled moms.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you can’t still be a person. In fact, I’ll argue that you can’t be a good mom if you’re not taking care of yourself. There are days, don’t get me wrong, that I cherish that it’charcoal-masks borderline acceptable for me to leave the house in sweats and a dirty t-shirt as long as I have my toddler in tow. There are also days where all I want to do is close the bathroom door, throw on a good face maskgrab a good book and be alone.

That’s OK. I deserve it. I’ll be a better mom in 30 minutes when I’ve finished my glass of wine, washed my face and recharged.

While I’m at it, there are days for PJs all day, and there are days (even if you’re not planning on leaving the house) that you should get dressed. Not in a suit and heels, but at least jeans and a non-sweatshirt top. Brush your hair, throw on a little mascaramaybe a little blush and then start your day. You have a closet full of nice shoes. Wear them for no reason.

Women give ourselves such a hard time. In an effort to prove that we can have it all, we run ourselves into the ground. Then, surprise surprise, we can’t have it all because we’re totally out of inspiration and energy. We can have it all, just not at the same time. We can be amazing wives, mothers, business owners, athletes, advocates, change makers, friends and people. We probably need help. We need to prioritize. Learn how to maximize your home business during nap time. If you work outside the home too, leave your work at work as much as possible and focus on home tasks at home. If you need to answer a work email at home, do it and move on. If you need to set up an appointment for your child during work hours, do it and move on. It will never be perfect, just do your best.

A major change I made recently has made a huge difference is the general mom stress in my day to day. Spend a few minutes each week planning the meals and one shopping list so you don’t have to decide what to make, you don’t have to stop at the store on the way home from a long day at the office. At first I thought I’d hate having to decide what I was going to have for dinner a week from now, but I just started doing it and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It’s saving us money (which reduces stress) and time, which gives me more time to spend with my family because I’m not battling the 5:30 supermarket crowd.

Being a mom is what you make it. There will be days that are amazing and days that are horrible. You can choose to get all riled up about being the perfect mom and wife and business owner at all times, or you can be the best you can at what you’re doing in that moment. Above all, don’t forget to take care of yourself. You are an important part of the equation and are not there to simply serve others- you exist all on your own.